Back to Running… Reasonably

homerI’ve talked a lot about running and lifting on this blog. If you don’t feel like getting totally caught up, here’s the story in a nutshell: I used to run a lot. Then I hurt myself. Now I lift a lot.

There. You’re basically caught up on two year’s worth of posts.

There is a part of me that misses running regularly. It won’t ever become my go-to exercise since I think I’m much more suited for the lifting lifestyle (and a much bigger fan of the results). But I find running to be extremely honest. If you run regularly, you will get better at it. If you haven’t run in a long time, you cannot fake being good at it. It will hurt. And you have to push yourself through the pain (but not too hard… otherwise you’ll end up with problems like me) over and over again until you get back in shape. And it’s humbling. And I like to be humbled.

But this year, I’m prepared. I’m of course going to continue my regularly scheduled gym routine (because I find it the most efficient and effective for me), but I’m also going to add back in little bits of running. Even if it’s just a mile here, a set of interval sprints there, ten minutes on the treadmill…whatever. And I’m prepared because I got a specialty running sock that supposedly helps when you’ve got a messed up club foot like I do.

It’s not a traditional club foot. I call it a club foot because it hurts like I’ve been standing in heels in da club for hours after ten minutes of running.

Anyhoo, I’m excited about it. And because I’m all about being reasonable this year, I think it’s a reasonable compromise between my present lifting self and my past runner.

Advertisements

Batgirl

batMy good friend Whitney (who has a hilarious website you should check out here) has this contraption. It’s for hanging upside down. Or maybe upsidown, depending on your education level. I had heard of these contraptions and heard they were good for you before, but I had not experienced it for myself.

Well thanks to Whitney, I got to experience it for myself. I got to hang upside down like a bat. It was kinda awesome. And very intense.

Whitney helped me flip over slowly. And truth be told, I didn’t go all the way upside down my first try. That’s pretty intense for anyone and I wanted to take ‘er easy. But my second try I did. For a total of 20 seconds. Then I got the giggles and had to come back up to catch my breath (thanks a lot to my hilarious soul buddy who got me giggling while I was hanging). But even just angled mostly upside down is very intense. The blood rushes to all sorts of places it’s not used to going and your body gets jiggly in ways you didn’t know it could jiggle.

If you’ll recall my last post, I had a minor back issue for a week or so. I tried this hanging thing to help it out. I didn’t feel anything at first except a good (and odd) stretch all over. Then as I was coming back up, there was a very specific point when I could feel my vertebrae screaming at me. We isolated the pain! I found the exact angle I needed to stretch it out a little on this terrifying medieval torture contraption. And I worked it out. And cried a little. But as a creative-type, most of my friends are used to randomly crying at any given moment, so everybody stayed cool.

And the next couple days I really felt great. I’m actually considering getting one of these contraptions myself sometime. It seems to work wonders and Whitney swears by it.

Plus, if people ask what you’re up to, you can say “Just hangin’ out” and then laugh uncontrollably at your own cleverness.

What a Pain in the Back

back pain

I hurted my self a little.

Mom, be cool. I’m fine. No need to call me and suggest I go to the doctor right now. This post was written about a week after I hurt myself and will be published about a week from the day it was written. By the time you read it, I’ll be absolutely back to 100%. Also I love you and please send money.

I woke up one morning with a severe pain in my lower back. I couldn’t figure out what I did. I have a pretty strong back and am careful about doing certain back exercises because plenty of people in my family have hurt their back through work injuries or dumbass crossfit instructors.

But this was a definite pain in my lower back that wasn’t like a pinched nerve or a tight muscle (which I’m unfortunately extremely accustomed to). This was like that dull, debilitating, feels like it’s coming from your spine pain. Yeah. It sucked.

I had to slowly get up and down from my bed and chairs for about a week. I hobbled around like an old man because the only position that felt comfortable was slightly hunched and walking slowly. I yelled at kids to “Get off my lawn!” even though I live in an apartment complex. I avoided back exercises and stretched as best I could I did whatever it took to felt better.

As I was trying to figure out what did it and a particular move came to mind. The day before I woke up in pain I had been doing dumbell deadlifts. I had used a higher weight than normal. It had been a while since I did a deadlift. I got cocky and paid very little attention to my form because I never had issues with them in the past. I made sure to really use my back and rely less on my hamstrings and arms to make up for it.

Basically… I over did it.

It took about a week to recover. I’m slowly starting to get back on track (BACK! HA! GET IT!? BACK on TRACK!? BAHAHAHAH… sorry). By next week I’ll probably start to reintroduce some back exercises to help strengthen it again so this doesn’t happen. And I’ll introduce them slowly. And carefully.

It’s like that old saying goes, “Once you go bad back, you don’t ever go back.”

Owie

I hurted my back.screaming-kid

Just a widdle.

It hurted. I pulled sometin while doing somethin.

It hurts.

I’ve iceded it. I layed on a tennis ball so I could work it out. Still ouchie.

Hopefully time and some serious stretching can make better.

Don’t have money in the piggy bank for a massage right now.

Hurtie. Owie. Ouchie.

Me pathetic and child-like when hurting.

Boo.

Insoles

I’m visiting my hometown of Indianapolis at the moment. This is limiting my overall workouts, but extremely helpful for my personal recalibration and inspiration.

Plus, it’s nice on my bank account because my mommy and daddy buy me everything. Because I am an adult. And I depend on them to buy me stuff.

Anyhoo, my mommy bought me insoles for my foot. They’re specifically targeted for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. They give a little extra cushioning between your heel and the ground. Which I guess lets the inflamed tendons heal a little bit.

I put them in my running shoes. I haven’t had time to use my running shoes yet. And when I do use them, it will not be for running (just yet) because we have to work back up to that. But I’m excited I’ll have at least something that will hopefully help.

Plus, my parents have a little elliptical machine in the extra bedroom. I was able to elliptical the other day for about 40 minutes without pain. So maybe I’ll give the new insoles  a little spin on the elliptical machine.

That is assuming, of course, my brother isn’t home. If he is, I will probably drink beer and catch up on Breaking Bad instead of working out. I’m still technically on “vacation,” after all.

I Gave Up…

….But I like to think of it as “liberated myself.”

I won’t be able to run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon race on August 18. I already bought the ticket. I was already visualizing myself at the finish line getting my extra medal for completing all three races I’d been training for all year. Even officially typing these words is making me sad again. I thought I’d come to terms with it, but I guess I hadn’t fully accepted it yet.

Point is, there are a lot of factors that have dramatically changed up my life making that race much more difficult than it’s worth.

Without getting into the nitty gritty details, the biggest factor is the fact that I don’t quite trust my foot to not give out. It’s a few months away from total recovery- I’m afraid- and I don’t want to lose the headway I’ve made so far by annihilating it during this race.

I have a number of financial and personal commitments that have completely changed since I originally signed up several months ago. Instead of being able to have the weekend to myself to relax and enjoy the race, I’ll be spending the 17th and 18th working all day. Which is just fine, because I’ve got to get in some extra hours before I head home to Indianapolis on the 20th for the first time in almost 2 years.

It was going to be a stretch to be able to do this race as it is. I knew that. I was willing to do it. But now that I will not be running it, I’m trying to see the positives. I can save my foot. I can maybe resell the entry to recover some costs. Instead of getting an extra medal at the end of the finish line for completing the Triple Crown, I get to spend every day now in a brand new shiny pretty car. And in order to be able to afford that car, I need to spend the 17th and 18th working.

Everything happens for a reason. Even plantar fasciitis. I need to remind myself of that.

Sometimes, when we plan months in advance, we can’t follow through. Things change. Situations change. Bodies change. Relationships change. People change.

And that’s ok.

I won’t run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. I am sad about it. I am disappointed. But I’m embracing the fact that all this change around me means there are great things around the corner.

You can’t plant a garden without tilling the soil. Right now, the universe swooped in and decided to till my soil. Maybe the timing is inconvenient, but hey- I’ve been asking for a garden for years so…HERE WE GO.

I’m “liberating myself” from a lot of previous structures I had in place. One of those structures included being able to run this race. Now that I won’t be running it, I can open up the space for new, exciting, inspiring energies.

Plus, I’ll have to just lift extra hard to make up for all the calories I can’t run off anymore. Watch out weight room fellas. It’s about to smell like Bath and Body Works all up in there.

I will run this race…I think

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m attempting to run a race August 18. My third in the “Triple Crown” series in Southern California. When I finish, I get an extra medal for doing all three races. That’s three races, four medals. That’s awesome.

Assuming, of course, I can run the race.

This nasty plantar fasciitis has set me back in my training big time. I haven’t run in a month. I can’t. I’ll run a mile and my foot will start giving out. It’s obnoxious and annoying.

And with this particular injury, you just have to stretch and massage and wait for it to get better. It’s broken and needs to heal. And as long as you push it, it won’t heal.

And it’s driving me nuts.

I’m now less than a month away from this race and I am completely out of cardio shape because cardio requires functioning feet.

I’ve tried other options like biking, which I grossly dislike (see my previous blog post). I can’t handle being on the bike for that long. Plus, it makes my butt and hip flexors feel weird. I don’t like it.

I’ve tried elliptical but my foot flares up a little and it doesn’t seem worth it to cause damage to the part I’m trying to heal just to get a mediocre cardio workout in. Plus, I look like a doofus on that thing.

Sure, I could swim. Theoretically. But you try finding a lane open in a pool near a retirement community. Good luck.

I’ve got a d-day set in my mind. August 1. I’m going to go out for a run on August 1. That’s Thursday.

When I do, I’m gonna try and see if I can get 3 miles in. If I can…I’m gonna attempt to run this race after all.

If I can’t… well, I’ll deal with that when we get there.

D-day comes upon us quickly. Wish me luck.

Everyone’s so friendly?!

The past two weeks at my gym have been odd. Not  because I have to choose odd exercises to compensate for this hurting foot, though that hasn’t been spectacular.

It’s been odd at my gym because…everyone’s being so nice to each other.

Normally, I’m totally anonymous. And I kinda like it that way. I like being quietly left to my workout so I can lose myself in my breath and my awesome music. I can get oddly anxious about things most people don’t think twice about. If I think someone is watching me, I inherently put on a small show. Whether or not they actually are watching. It’s the performer that comes out. And I love the performer- she’s my favorite version of myself- but she gets a lot of time already in Briana-world. Sometimes, I like to be the quiet, awkward, unfriendly, poorly dressed girl who clearly didn’t brush her hair this morning that’s lifting in the corner while everyone around her swears she’s a lesbian. I like her because she’s totally different than my somewhat put-together, friendly, out-going funny flirty girl. I’m very much both people- just different versions of myself depending on my circumstances.

What does any of this have to do with the people around me being friendlier? Well, if I know them by name and see them often, I could start feeling self-conscious when I’m around them. Because I know them. We’ve had a conversation. I’m expected to be friendly now. I should probably make small talk. At some point, we may talk about what we both do outside the gym. I’ve got to always be sure I wave hello and goodbye if I’m waking by because I’m midwestern and we’re really polite and that’s just what you do with people you know. I can’t just be lost in my own thoughts anymore, I now have to be aware in case someone I know is around.

I’ve seen this one guy several times. He works at the gym. He’s often there when I am. Last week, he smiled at me. Then a few days later, he half waved when he saw me. Then the next time I came in, he scanned my card introduced himself. Now I know his name. And he knows mine. He smiled at me again when I walked out of the locker room and headed to my workout. As I write this, I realize this could sound flirty. It’s not. It’s just friendly. But the point is, he knows me know. And I know him. We’ve got eye contact established. Now I have to be nice to him.

The last time I went to the gym, a new guy was working the desk. When he scanned me in, he made small talk then said “Have a nice workout, Briana” and smiled again. Now I gotta be nice to this guy, too.

It’s confusing. I don’t know if I like it or not. We’ll see.

Maybe it’ll make me workout harder, though, if I think people are watching me.

That is, of course, when my foot starts cooperating again and I can return to my normal routine.

Until then, I drink a Bud Light Lime and I write about working out.

Pent up energy

I’m giving myself a little rest right now. I was headed to the gym this morning but my foot started screaming at me. I decided to take it easy. For once. UUUUGHHHH.

The problem isn’t just that my over-achiever-ness wants to go everything always including pushing my body to the limit. Or that I continue to eat as if I’ve worked out hard at the gym that day. The problem is mainly that at the end of the day, when I go to bed, I have all this pent up energy from not exercising.

I know people would kill to have more energy throughout the day, so maybe this seems like a silly thing to complain about. But I don’t have the energy throughout the day. I have it late at night. And it prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep. Which prevents me from being able to wake up easily in the wee hours of the morning. Which prevents me from getting everything I want to do done. Which usually means I can’t make it to the gym because that’s the first thing on the to do list that typically goes. Well, maybe the second. I don’t do dishes, then I don’t go to the gym.

IT’S A VICIOUS CYCLE.

And to top it off, my foot troubles are giving me even more excuse to give myself a little rest. But my body is wondering why there is so much leftover energy every night. Body needs to talk to foot so we can work all these things out.

Then again, I’m going through some stuff in the personal world, so maybe it’s just stress that’s keeping me up. Maybe a little meditation, reflection and perspective will help me sleep better.

NAH. I’LL JUST BLAME MY FOOT.